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What’s Hot when it “HOT on the Mo. River Reservoirs Gary Howey

   These are the “Dog Days of Summer” when no matter where you’re fishing the fishing can be tough.

  I remember those days, where you could set out there most of the day, using several different presentations and all we had to show for it was a bad sunburn and a tackle bag with less tackle than we started with.

  We knew where the fish were deep as we located them with our locators, but we had a tough time getting our baits to them. They suspended in the deep water, hanging out at different depths in and amongst the trees left when the reservoir filled.

  We tried bottom bouncers and spinners, loosing many of them before switching to another method, which performed about the same as the bottom bouncers.

  Years later, we were filming with Guide and Team Outdoorsmen Adventures Member Joel Vasek of Missouri Valley Guide Service on Lake Francis Case when he introduced us to pulling crankbaits on lead core, which helped us to fill our limits while other anglers were coming up short.

  Hot weather fishing is different from the rest of the year, requiring different presentations: different baits, different rigs, presented at different speeds.   

 I’ve fished many of the hot weather deep-water methods, but by no means am I an expert. 

  Some of the most successful guides and tournament anglers, those individuals that spend hundreds of hours on the water use need to put fish in the boat, no matter what the season or water temperature may be, have methods they use during the Dog Days of Summer.

  To get the best information on this, I contacted some the most successful guides and anglers I know, and quizzed them about deep-water fishing during the “Hot” weather.

  Below you’ll find their suggestions on the lakes they fish and the methods they’d recommend to catch walleyes when it’s “Hot”.

Lewis & Clark Lake:

 Anglers in a recent tournament held on Lewis and Clark had to deal with water temperatures of 75-77 degrees used lead core line to troll the deeper water of the old river channel were awarded 1st place in the event.

   Lead core line and Off Shore snap weights are used to get your bait down deep, along with Off Shore Plainer boards that will spread those lines out seems to be a good bet when water temperatures warm up on Lewis & Clark.

Joel Vasek, Geddes, S.D. Missouri Valley Guide Service, www.walleyetamer.com:

Joel guides on Lake Francis Case on up to Chamberlain. S.D. and feels that deep-water walleyes are easy to pattern as they seem to suspend in 30′ to 50′ of water and as long as the baitfish are there won’t they won’t move much.

  To get deep, where the walleyes are located he uses lead core, snap weights and downriggers. He also uses Off Shore Planer Boards with lead core as when you make a turn with the boats the boards stop and this is when the walleyes seem to like to hit.

  Vasek feels that the best deep-water fishing happens when there is the right sun with a little chop on the water and feels that cloudy day’s hurt deep-water fishing. As the depth increases, visibility becomes poorer, with the sunlight penetration helping the walleyes to locate your bait.

  Walleyes will follow the Gizzard Shad and when they move, some of the walleyes will stay put as larger fish during the heat of the summer don’t seem to like chasing bait and this is when the odds are in your favor, when crankbaits work well as there’s less baitfish for the fish to feed on.

  Vasek and his guides have excellent luck trolling crankbaits over the trees or along 45′ to 55′ break lines. [Read more…]

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Walleyes elude us on Lewis and Clark Lake By Larry Myhre

Reprinted from the Sioux City Journal

YANKTON, S.D. | Lewis and Clark Lake lay shimmering like a dark blue jewel in the early morning light.

Brian Bashore, one of the “Walleye Guys” guiding team, eased his Ranger out of the boat ramp basin of the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area and pointed it into the main lake.

The wind had gone down, but Gary Howey, Hartington, Neb., and I wondered just how long Mother Nature would stay quiet. She has been really generous with her wind this spring, and while we wanted a decent “walleye chop” we didn’t want a raging maelstrom which this shallow lake can become in heavy wind.

“I’ve found some walleyes on a shallow flat just off the north shoreline,” Brian told us as we idled out of the ramp. “It’s been a jig bite, but we might try pulling some bottom bouncers as well.”

The big Mercury outboard was sending the boat up the lake at a good speed, and Brian soon pulled into the shoreline where a deep ravine split the storied chalkstone bluffs which line both sides of most of this lake.

The shallow flat extending out from the ravine sported a small rock pile as well as a few scattered wood structures.

We tied on 1/8-ounce leadheads, tipped them with a piece of crawler and began casting as Brian held the boat in place with the bow-mounted electric motor.

It didn’t take long for Gary’s rod to dip with the bite of a fish.

Bashore-Sauger-Crappie

Brian Bashore, The Walleye Guys Guide Service and two of the species of fish caught on a recent trip to Lewis & Clark Lake.

“Fish on,” he said as his 6-and-a-half foot graphite spinning rod bent and began to throb as the fish tried to power back into the depths.

Brian grabbed the net. I watched the rod tip and saw it dive as the fish shook its head and attempted to go back to the bottom.

“That’s a good walleye!” I exclaimed.

Just then the fish surfaced. It was a 3-pound freshwater drum.

Damn. Wrong again.

“I knew it was a drum,” I lied. “Just wanted to get you guys excited.”

On the next pass it was my turn.

My blood pressure jumped a few points as I set the hook into a solid fish. Again it was a bull-dogging fight.

“Another walleye,” I said, hoping beyond hope that it would be.

The the fishing gods were not smiling on me. They were scowling. Another drum, maybe 2 pounds.

“One thing about Lewis and Clark,” Gary deadpanned. “There’s no shortage of drum.”

But on the next pass, things brightened.

Brian and I doubled. His fish proved to be a small sauger and mine, a respectable crappie.

Lewis and Clark actually has a pretty good crappie fishery, but they are hard to find. For years I had a spot up in the river section where I could go at a certain time during a certain month and catch all the crappie I wanted from one-half to one-and-a-half-pounds.

I guarded that spot like it was Fort Knox. I took no one there, not even my mother.

But the flood of 2011 blew it out. There are still crappies there at the right time, but nothing like it used to be.

“There are lots of crappies up around the marina by the dam,” Brian volunteered. And that’s not exactly a secret so I feel free to relate that here.

We fished most of the day, hitting other spots, pulling cranks, bottom bouncers and casting jigs, but the walleyes evaded us. The Niobrara is pumping mud and the upper third looked pretty dirty to me. Walleyes don’t like that.

They also don’t like an east wind, and we had that, too.

We managed to catch a half dozen small sauger. They should grow above that 15-inch minimum length next year. That is required before you creel a sauger or walleye on this lake, except during the months of July and August. Only one can be over 20 inches. The limit is four. Possession limit is eight. You should also be aware that high grading of fish is illegal. If you put it in the live well, you keep it.

Gary and I stayed in a three-bedroom cabin at the Lewis and Clark Resort. These are mighty fine accommodations, providing everything you need in the kitchen and bathroom. Check out their website at: www.lewisandclarkresort.com or phone: (605) 665-8613.

It’s a painful fact of life now that invasive species have required a whole new layer of laws and rules to which we must abide. Read your fishing regulations pertaining to this. And then reread them. Zebra mussels have a strong foothold in Lewis and Clark Lake and there are other invasives present. Its a fact of life now in most of the states in which we fish that all vegetation and water must be removed from your boat and trailer when you leave the lake.

Drain plugs must be pulled, live wells drained and lower units blown out by turning the motor over before you leave the ramp.

If you are a non resident and launch your boat in Nebraska waters, you must purchase a $15 Aquatic Invasive Species Stamp and display it on your boat. Nebraska residents will pay an additional $5 when they register their boat for three years.

To learn more about the “Walleye Guys” guide service on Lewis and Clark and other lakes, check out www.thewalleyeguys.com. Brian and his partner Brent Henrikson are walleye fishing addicts who are either guiding on Nebraska or South Dakota waters or are participating in walleye fishing tournament across the nation.

More outdoors information can be found at http://siouxcityjournal.com/sports/recreation/outdoors

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Nebraska Walleye Association Lewis and Clark Tournament

Scott Ulrich and Heath Walter, Hartington, NE. along with twenty-nine other teams competed in the Nebraska Walleye Associations two-day tournament on Lewis and Clark Lake April 25, & 26.

As it does often in Nebraska, the wind howled on Saturday, making the run from Weigand Marina, the launch and weigh in location to the river above the lake, a rough ride.

Ulrich and Walter fished in the river above the lake, using jigs and chubs, bringing in five fish weighing 9.42 pounds with their largest fish for Saturday a 2.69-pound walleye, garnering them seventh place.

On Sunday morning, day two of the event, the contestants were greeted by a clear sky with less wind than they had on Saturday. [Read more…]